Family Friday Links 4.21.17

Here's what we've been reading online this week:

Timothy Paul Jones continued his series on 5 Ways The Gospel Transforms Your Parenting this week. Dr. Jones writes, "Our Goal is a kingdom that never ends, and our purpose in parenting is to see this kingdom revealed through our families." 

Eliza Thomas on the the International Mission Board Blog wrote A Reading List for Missional Parents Raising Globally Minded Kids. Eliza writes, "I don’t want my kids to read in one corner of the world when it’s my responsibility as a parent to encourage them to leap across borders." Write in the comments below about resources you are utilizing to teach your kids about missions! 

The Gospel Coalition shared a book review by Gracy Olmstead about the book Glory in the Ordinary by Courtney Reissig. Olmestead post is entitled, Your Work in the Home Matters to God.  Olmstead writes, "When we feel a “pull toward the spectacular,” we must remember God values the quiet and the unseen. We’re not all called to be radical in our vocations—often, small and ordinary acts of unnoticed faithfulness are moments in which the radical manifests itself. “God cares about what happens behind the closed doors of your house each and every day because he cares about the people in it,” Reissig writes. He is the God, after all, who was never too busy or important for the children.

What have you been reading this week? Please share in the comments below.


Family Friday Links 3.17.17 (St. Patrick's Day Edition)

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I hope you remembered to wear your green,  Timothy Paul Jones wrote about the True Story of St. Patrick. Dr. Jones writes, “But Patrick wasn’t actually Irish, and no pinches or parties or shades of green played any significant role in his story, as far as anyone knows. His story does, however, have much to do with forgiveness, faithfulness, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.” 

Ruth Ripkin on the International Mission Board website wrote an article about 3 Ways to teach your kids to pray for the persecuted church. Ruth writes, “God hears and responds to the prayers of children who know him. Rather than shielding your children from the realities of suffering for Jesus’s name, lead them to pray boldly on behalf of the persecuted.” Help cultivate a heart for the nations in the next generation. 

This week I read a blog written for Pastor's wives who are experiencing burnout but the blog is good for anyone experiencing burnout. Erin Wheeler on the Gospel Coalition writes, “Too often, we toil in our own strength and then wonder why we’re so exhausted. Like oxygen masks on an airplane, we must attach ourselves to the oxygen of God’s Word before we’re any use to others suffocating on the fumes of this world.” May we all ask for God’s grace about fighting burning out. 

Sam Luce shared out this week about the books you should read in your first year of Kidmin. Please check out this book list for your growth and maturity. Please comment if there are books that you love that you would recommend for others to read! 

Please comment what you have you been reading this week! 

Family Friday Links 2016 Year in Review

This is our last set of Family Friday Links for 2016. Lets look back at 16 of our best links from the year. These are not in any particular order. Hope that some of these links maybe ones you missed or a reminder of a good link that you forgot about. 

  1. Ann Voskamp wrote a very strong blog to her sons about how to honor, care for and value women. A quote from the blog says, "When Christ stepped out of that black tomb, he still didn’t choose to first manifest Himself to prestigious officials, religious leaders, the Twelve, but instead He revealed Himself first to the women, He entrusted the veracity of His resurrection to the testimony of the women, He offered the privilege of proclaiming Christ as the risen Savior to the women, though no court at the time would accept their testimony. That’s how God loves His daughters with His regard."
  2. Danny Franks wrote a post on volunteers and the reason they don't continue. He asking (and answering) the question, "Why did their eagerness in orientation and their wonder in the first week of service not translate to a return trip and a lifetime of volunteering?" Leaders and pastors, learn from this.
  3. Our own Jared Kennedy had a post on the ERLC on kids and anxiety. He says, "Our goal shouldn’t be to change how they feel but simply recognize our kids’ emotions and affirm our love." While focusing on keeping our kids safe, we miss out on ministering to their hearts. As parents we need to focus on our kid's hearts, in order to see them grow and mature, not just their behavior.
  4. The Acts 29 Church Planting Network has a post from a church plant in Paris about the kids and church. It reminds us, "We must be intentional in our inclusion of Jesus’ youngest disciples." This is a great reminder for parents and pastors.
  5. Craig Jultila wrote a post on what to do when we feel like giving up. He says, "Honestly, there have been times when I was trying to crawl my way through the tunnel of difficulty hoping, praying, believing for a light at the end! It’s in those moments I must ask myself the following four questions to just keep going." Because we all, regardless of position or status, feel this way this post is helpful.
  6. Jason Allen had a post on tips for leading your kids to Christ. He wrote, "I feel the weight—and glory—of this stewardship daily and find immeasurable fulfillment and joy as I see my children taking steps toward Christ. I am sure many Christian parents feel the same way I do—awestruck by the opportunity and responsibility that is ours." His tips are helpful for both parents and those that work with kids.
  7. Jen Wilkin posted on the Gospel Coalition that talks about the value of children and the fact that  kids are our neighbors. Wilkin's writes, Because if children are people, then they are also our neighbors. This means that every scriptural imperative that speaks to loving our neighbor as we love ourselves suddenly comes to bear on how we parent. Every command to love preferentially at great cost, with great effort, and with godly wisdom becomes not just a command to love the people in my workplace or the people in my church or the people at my hair salon or the people on my street or the people in the homeless shelter. It becomes a command to love the people under my own roof, no matter how small. If children are people, then our own children are our very closest neighbors. No other neighbor lives closer or needs our self-sacrificing love more."
  8. I came across this blog post entitled There Is Grace in Disability by Kara Dedert at the site Special Needs Parenting. Kara says ,"God’s grace has sustained us in deep lament. God’s grace has kept us from walking away in deep struggles of faith. God’s grace allows Calvin to be filled with joy and happiness in his disability. God’s grace has shown us more of His love for us as we care for Calvin. God’s grace has surprised us with unexpected joy in difficult places. God’s grace has made eternal reality more clear and our hope in Christ more urgent."
  9. Here is an article from the Gospel Coalition by 18 year-old Jaquelle Crowe. Her article is entitled 5 Reasons Why Teenagers Need Theology. As a young woman, she gives good insight to parents and youth workers on how to help their students to love theology. Jaquelle writes:

    "I’m 18. I’ve studied and been taught theology all my life. It’s given me many things: a richer relationship with God; a stronger and more submissive relationship with my parents; a more discerning relationship with my friends; a more edifying approach to social media; a zealous desire to do my best in school; a biblical worldview; a bigger vision for my future; and a greater passion to follow God no matter what." 
  10. With the racial unrest that exists in our country, Thom Rainer had a guest post by Joshua Staub on how to help our kids process these issues. Joshua wrote, "When we shield our children from injustice, we become complicit in the tension." He goes on to list 3 things parents need to do to help our kids understand and grow. Parents, read this and help your kids.
  11. Our friend, Sam Luce, wrote a post on the problems with making kids say sorry. He writes, " The problem with saying sorry is sorry can be used to gloss over sin. Repentance digs deeper to the root of sin." Parents, this is a good post for you especially as your kids get older.
  12. Jen Thorn wrote a post on the dangers of a "parent-centered" home. She writes, "We hear a lot of talk about a home not being child-centered. But all too often, without us realizing it, our homes become-parent centered." Parents, this is a good read for all of us to consider.
  13. John Hailes had a post entitled "Raising & Releasing the Next Generation." He writes, "When we include teenagers in our ministry its messy. Sometimes putting them on the stage is even cringe worthy. However, its so unbelievably necessary for our ministries and the future of kidmin…" He goes on to list several reasons this is important. Pastors and leaders this is worth considering.
  14. NavPress has a post up on teaching kids about sex. It reads, "As Christian parents we can do much more than merely pass on information about reproduction. We have the opportunity of shaping the sexual character of our children. " Parents, this is a helpful list with helpful resources.
  15. Jonathan Parnell wrote a post on what parenting means. He writes, "When we begin to see our parenting through the lens of spiritual warfare, it reconfigures our work ..." He goes on to list the 5 ways in which this happens. Parenting is a struggle, just not in the way think; it's a spiritual struggle.
  16. Paul Tripp had a post on the Verge site about kids and missions. He is answering the question, "How early in my child’s life do I disciple this child for ministry and mission and what does that look like?" He answers it this way, "Everything you have is a potential means of ministry…The ideas are endless.” Parents, make mission and discipleship a part of everyday life. Pastors, train parents to do so.

What were your favorite articles from 2016? Please share in the comments section. 

Family Friday Links 3.18.16

Here is our weekly list of online posts we've found helpful and encouraging.

Gospel Centered Discipleship had a post on leadership entitled "Leading Like the Good Shepherd". It reads, "... a good shepherd dies for the cause when the Father has made the sheep the cause." Both parents (especially Dads) as well as pastors would benefit from reading this post.

Tim Elmore had a post on his site Growing Leaders about conversations parents need to have with their kids, even when it hard and uncomfortable. He writes, "For many reasons, today’s adult has often been unwilling or unable to host crucial conversations with teens and twenty-somethings. Consequently, students graduate unready for the world that awaits them." Parents, review this list and get prepared.

Kenny Conley had a post about the importance of doing less. He writes, "Doing less means I have far more time to make sure that everything we do is incredible. Doing less means I have far more time to invest in volunteers to ensure they’re truly impacting their kids." If you are pastor or leader in any ministry, this post is a reminder of what your role/job really is.

Paul Tripp had a post on the Verge site about kids and missions. He is answering the question, "How early in my child’s life do I disciple this child for ministry and mission and what does that look like?" He answers it this way, "Everything you have is a potential means of ministry…The ideas are endless.” Parents, make mission and discipleship a part of everyday life. Pastors, train parents to do so.

What have you been reading online? Leave us a link in the comment section and we will check it out.